Why I’m Self-Publishing the Vie en Roses Series

Why I’m Self-Publishing the Vie en Roses Series

Although this has not been a secret, it’s also not been something about which I’ve made an official statement, so I wanted to let readers know that, yes, I will be self-publishing the entirety of the Vie en Roses series.

Kensington did make a four-book print and digital offer on this series, and I truly appreciate their efforts to negotiate with me, as I threw up all kinds of obstacles to a new contract and they really worked hard to find compromises that would work for both of us.

However, I’ve experimented with both self-publishing and traditional publishing at this point, and I am very interested in testing out self-publication of an entire series.

I have been extremely satisfied with the results of my initial forays into self-publication (Turning Up the Heat, The Chocolate Rose, Snow-Kissed, The Chocolate Temptation).

I’ve been able to find a great editorial team to work with me, and the control over my own output and creativity has been incredibly revitalizing.

Sales on the two self-published Chocolate books, which are more than double the sales of the traditionally published Chocolate books, also suggest that this is a better move for readers. My guess is that you all appreciate the ability to obtain ebooks at a price of $3.99-4.99 rather than $8-10. That makes sense to me. I also find $8-10 a lot to spend on an ebook. There’s just something about the digital aspect that makes it very hard to do.

I am somewhat concerned about the fact that the books in the Vie en Roses series are unlikely to appear on bookstore shelves, but print readers will be able to order them, through the vendor of their choice, so I certainly don’t think established readers will suffer. (If you think you will, I’d love to hear from you about why and how. Definitely let me know what I might be missing!)

Whether it will affect my long-term discoverability is something to be tested. Obviously, to have the best of both worlds, I would like for these books to be on bookstore shelves, too. However, given that my previous self-published books sold twice as many copies as the books on bookstore shelves, I don’t think it’s a good idea at this point in time to give up anything in order to obtain that bookstore shelf presence.  Certainly not to give up all rights and control, as current publishing contracts require.

I especially think it is a bad idea to sell away rights given the state of flux of the publishing industry. I’m really not sure anyone should be signing away rights for books for any period longer than three years right now, because we have no idea what things will be like in three years. My guess is that an author’s rights will be worth a lot more than a traditional publisher’s ability to place a book on bookstore shelves by then, but then my experience suggests those rights already are worth a lot more.

(Anyway, while publishers might contract to certain print runs, it’s worth noting that no publisher guarantees actual print distribution in a contract. They can’t. If you’re an author, double-check your contracts. It is fashionable, these days, for traditional publishers to talk about what they provide authors—editing, distribution, etc.—and yet not a single one of those things are in the contracts that bind authors to give up all rights and control of a literary work they produced in its entirety.)

All that said, in terms of discoverability, I would definitely appreciate any and all reader word-of-mouth during this more extended self-publishing venture. (But I already appreciated that! Reader word-of-mouth is the best thing to happen to a book ever. Thank you!!)

Since you are unlikely to wander past a bookstore shelf and spot my next book, if you are interested in future books, I really hope you will sign up to be emailed for new releases as the best way to spot that a new one is out.

And as I try this new experiment, I want to thank so many readers who have helped make these past eighteen months since The Chocolate Thief first came out such exciting ones. I hope you’ll understand my need to keep control and ownership of my work and that you’ll stay with me on this next venture!

I’m in a constant process of evaluation in what is still to me a very new world, so of course I’ll let you know if any plans change. But for now I’m very much looking forward to sharing the Vie en Roses series with you! We are looking at an August release date right now for the first book in the Rosier Family Quartet, which contains the central four books of that series (or perhaps collection would be a better word).

And keep your eye out for a couple of novellas in the Amour et Chocolat collection…and perhaps even a historical one day. (Perhaps. I’ll keep you posted.) Again, to know when those come out, sign up here. (It’s painless, and also you get to be in our monthly Chocolate Club. Oh and get a special extra scene with Dominique Richard from The Chocolate Touch dealing with the aunts from The Chocolate Kiss.)

May I just say how happy I am to be writing in a time when I can reach readers directly, and to thank all of you for being readers. Because, well…I love readers. I always feel as if we have some secret code of happiness I wish we could share with non-readers, too.

Happy reading! May you find many wonderful books! It’s an exciting time to be an author and it’s an exciting time to be a reader, and I’m glad we’ve spent some time together on the same page. I certainly hope we’ll see more of each other.

All the best,

Laura

roses in provencevie en roses

(PS My husband said not to show you all that second photo because I look so weird in it, and really, truly I don’t look that weird most of the time. I think. But in the other one in that vat of roses I look like an insane person about to commit Murder with a Handful of Roses, so I really had very little choice. I just wanted to show how very amazingly incredibly awesome the research on this Rose series has been. This is from a few years ago, actually, when I first started. That’s not my hand, in the first photo. It’s the hand of Joseph Mul, patriarch of the most important family in rose production in the Grasse area, who was kind enough to let me research with him.)

23 Comments
  • Good luck, Laura! I can’t wait to see and read your new books. :). It’s a great time to test the self publishing waters. I’m currently doing the same.

    February 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm
  • Amy Pope
    Reply

    I always look forward to anything that you have written, Laura! I spent the morning pruning my 40 rose bushes…they fight back! Argh…but so much pleasure during the growing season. I am very excited to read the Vie en Roses series! I’m just guessing, of course, but I think that your plan of self-publishing will prove to be very successful.

    February 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm
  • Sharlene Wegner
    Reply

    I still prefer print, so if I have to go to Amazon to get them, that is fine! Just keep writing those special books!

    February 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm
  • I am new to your works, but am already a big fan. Best of luck on your continued success in self-publishing. I look forward to spreading the word about your lovely, brilliant books!

    February 22, 2014 at 10:30 pm
  • I’m happy there will be more books to read!

    I’m sure I will book bully – I mean help spread the word – about the new series. lol

    I’ll be reading whatever you write no matter how it is published and I’m happy you have found what works for you.

    February 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm
  • I have been curious, so thanks for letting us know what’s going on! Experimenting with a variety of different formats seems like an attractive option for several authors I know of, and it’s great to see people finding what works for them.

    February 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm
  • Good luck on your self-publishing adventure! I love all the rose pictures because it was like I could *smell* this blog post. Now I want to sit in a vat of rose petals.

    February 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm
  • I “discovered” your books in November, I think it was, and since then I’ve read, and reread them, and recommended them to others. “Think Paris, and chocolate… in a book.”

    I kept searching on Amazon for The Chocolate Temptation from the time I finished the previous book. Your website only said January/Mid-January. Once it was up there, I bought it.

    (And I know the information could have been in a newsletter, but I have subscribed to so many author newsletters through the years that usually end up straight in the junk mail folders after a while, so I tend to avoid subscribing to them anymore.)

    For example: making the books available for pre-order on Amazon, before the publication date. (I don’t know how feasible this is with self-published books, but it would be a huge advantage.)

    When I am in the middle of a good series, and the next book is coming up… but not yet published – I will preorder it if it is available. Similarly, with coming books from authors I enjoy.

    If it is not available for pre order, I might add it to a “to read” list on GoodReads, but that would also require it to be listed there. (And for me to remember to buy it when the time comes around that it eventually becomes published.)

    By the time I’ve read book 1 in a series, if book 2 is mentioned by title in the end of it – I do expect to be able to preorder it on Amazon – or add to my GoodReads list. Both with Amazon and GoodReads I’ve experienced Untitled books, and “expected publication” books being listed, so it should be possible.

    I have 22 books on pre order from Amazon now, and though I might forget the titles from when I buy them to the time they download to the device: the best days are the days when the “forgotten” pre ordered books download early morning, and I can spend an hour reading a new and delicious book before getting out to face the day. 🙂

    February 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm
      • Thanks for the information about the emails in Amazon – just went and subscribed to several of my favourite authors.

        February 26, 2014 at 4:35 am
  • Christie
    Reply

    Laura, I’ve only read two of your books to date, but I absolutely loved them. The Chocolate Temptation is my favorite book of the year so far. I absolutely loved it – it was so sweet.

    I am excited to hear that you’ll be self-publishing the Chocolate series. The high price (almost $9) for most of those books has kept me from buying them – but if the prices came down, I would jump on them. Do you know when they’ll be available as self-published books? Even if you have a rough idea, that would be useful to know, so that I can keep an eye out for them. Thanks!

    I agree with the previous commenter that it would be nice to be able to pre-order your books if that’s at all possible.

    March 6, 2014 at 9:52 am
  • Christie
    Reply

    Thanks for clarifying. I misunderstood your post – well, I very much look forward to your future books!

    March 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm
  • Maj
    Reply

    Hi Laura – I’ve been introduced to your books through Scribd, but your self-published books aren’t available through Scribd. Is there any chance that could change?

    Thanks,
    Arti

    March 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm
  • Amy
    Reply

    I loved! Chocolate Temptation. Truthfully I wouldn’t of bought the book if it was $10 mostly b/c I had never heard of you as an author. I took a chance on CT b/c of the price. Awesome writing that brought me into the character’s world. loved the sex scenes. Spicy sweetness. I went on to buy Chocolate Rose which is good. B/c of Peter CT is my favorite.

    June 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm
  • DANIELA COSTA E SILVA VIANNA
    Reply

    Although I do realize this post isn’t new, I thought I would share my experience on how I discovered your books.

    I had meet up at the mall with some friends, and, while we took a strool in a bookstore, I saw the Chocolate Thief (translated in portuguese) and upon reading the short summary on the back was intrigued.So I did found you on a bookstore. But I do most of my readings nowadays (and last year and 2014) in my kindle (or tablet). So I took note on the name and searched in my kindle. At the time, the series were on kindle unlimitted and I absolutelly fell in love.

    At this point it time, I’ve read pratically everything you wrote. So I think that you mostly need to do what is best for you given any present opportunity. Being self publishing or founding the right publish company for you. Here’s to hopefully more wonderful books from you

    January 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

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